Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hearthstone: Free to Play, Pay to Win, and the Challenges of Collectible Games by Brian Kibler

Article at

I prefer constructed to Arena too although Arena is probably a good way to build up your cards if you are good at it.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hearthstone: Hearthstone Theory by PVDDR

PVDDR on Managing Your Resources from which is quite a long read but very informative write-up on the concepts of the gameplay and decisions in Hearthstone.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Hearthstone: TheFishou's Feign Death Hunter

Deck-list from Hearthstone Top Decks Decks

One of the first few competitive Hunter decks to feature Feign Death although only one copy was used. I managed to get one from packs recently so I tried out the deck, replacing Piloted Sky Golems and Dr. Boom, as I did not have them, with 1 more Piloted Shredder and Feugen and Stalagg. I think having 4 6-mana minions might be too much? I still managed to use Feign Death although there is no card draw in the deck and as normally, your opponent will not want to kill your deathrattle minions.

Puzzle & Dragons: Mini Heroes of Three Kingdoms Pal Egg Machine for Japan Version (Updates)

Update: Event announced on Gungho website. You can also get 2000 pal points each, for a total of 4000 pal points, from the bottom second dungeon of both the Challenge and Descend Challenge Dungeons. (Links to with the information in Chinese. You can tell if the reward is pal points from mails with a silver coin icon)

Pazusoku blog article
Puzzle Dragon X news containing card list

This new pal egg machine that should be coming soon is probably going to cost 1000 pal points each pull and they are similar to the Chibi Chinese Gods from the Christmas Gacha, similar skills but with orb enhance awakenings instead except Mini Zhao Yun. (No news on this coming to other regions yet) I think they are mostly for collection purposes, skilling-up their original versions, low-cost dungeons (especially Mini Cao Cao!) and S-ranking dungeons. Edit: They have better stats then the Chibi Chinese Gods as they require evolving and go up to level 99. Most of the difference with the original version are around a loss of about 500 HP. I think those with double orb enhance of the same color makes for good subs for orb enhance focused teams.

For team usage, Mini Zhuge Liang will be a good leader for fast farming dungeons while Mini Lu Bu and Sun Quan will be good enhancer subs for devil and healer teams., especially Mini Lu Bu as most people without Lu Bu are using King Baddie. Similar to the Chibi Chinese Gods, I think all of them are useful leaders in the early game for people starting out. I really like how they make use of Pal Points instead of stones as having another choice to use your Pal Points is great since they removed the Metal Dragon Pal Egg event. I hope this returns often with every new event.

Merry Christmas to all readers!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Hearthstone: Kolento and mYi.FaKe Shaman Decks

Kolento's Shaman from Hearthstone Top Deck

mYi.FaKe Shaman from Hearthstone sub-Reddit and article on the deck

Both decks are similar to 11point5ft's Shaman deck which is basically what most standard Shaman deck looks like. The main changes were that Doomhammer was replaced with Powermace and more mechs were added with Feral Spirit cut to make way for the mechs. You can see some explanation about the card choices in mYi.FaKe's post and the sub-Reddit thread. He does not explain the exclusion of Antique Healbot which I thought will be a necessary one-of at least in Shaman.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hearthstone: Neirea's Warrior and Darkwonyx Warlock Decks

From Hearthstone Top Decks Deck Section:
Neirea's Warrior Deck

Darkwonyx's Warlock Deck

Neirea's deck is similar to Kranich's one from BlizzCon 2014 except it is replaces all of the legendaries to focus solely on the Raging Worgen combo finisher. Darkwonyx's Warlock deck on the other hand is kinda similar in that I think it is mainly stalling to get the Arcane Golem-Power Overwhelming-Faceless Manipulator combo.

I didn't really catch Neirea's deck in action but I think it will do better with an Alexstrasza. I used to run something like that as I did not have the legendaries and I find myself defending till I draw the combo pieces but am still unable to finish off the opponent as their health was usually untouched; Darkwonyx's Warlock deck does run one.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hearthstone: Imp-losion in Warlock Zoo? (Updated)

Update: Xixo took the deck to #1 Legend in EU, NA and Asia servers. I'm not sure if people have done it before with a Zoo deck but it is certainly very impressive!

Xixo's Warlock Zoo Deck-list from Hearthstone Top Decks

The most interesting inclusion is 2 Imp-losion. There is a Sea Giant for the "synergy" with Imp-losion too. I think Imp-losion is something to test in zoo as it might be a useful card to re-gain board control if you happen to lose it.

Edit: Imp-losion is pretty mana efficient as at a minimum, it is a 4 mana spell that will at least deal 2 damage and summon 2 Imps (unless you target a minion with divine shield!) and it combo-s well with the staple zoo minions like Knife Juggler, Dire Wolf Alpha and Defender of Argus. However, I don't think Zoo have much space at the 4-mana slot and you don't want to draw too many cards that cost 4-mana and above. Maybe as a 1-of?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hearthstone: Pini's GvG Mech Mage

Source: Hearthstone Top Decks section

No legendaries and no cards above 4 mana cost. This is the cheapest Mech Mage deck I've seen so far.

Hearthstone: Jab's GvG Midrange Hunter from GvG Current Top Meta Decks by Hearthstone Top Decks

Source: Hearthstone Top Decks Article

Nice roundup that covers everything we've seen from tournaments so far. It had quite a lot of decks I posted but I did not find a notable Hunter deck and this article listed one that I think looks quite good; Jab's GvG Midrange Hunter. No Gah'zilla used but has Dr. Boom which is showing up in a lot of decks. The other minion that I think had improved quite a number of decks is the Antique Healbot which did not get a mention.

Hearthstone: Brian Kibler's Understanding Fel Reaver

Source: BMK Gaming Article

The biggest drawback IMO is the information of what is left in your deck that the card gives as it mills. The article is a nice read on an explanation about card advantage in card games. Brian Kibler's MechMage deck has also changed to be closer looking to StrifeCro's, with less Mage class cards.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hearthstone: Android Tablet version roll out and Developer AMA

Update: Android Tablet version is now live worldwide!

Source: HearthPwn

You can get a free pack of Classic cards from playing a game of Hearthstone in any game mode on an Android tablet, so remember to do so once it is available.

The Developer Ask Me Anything (AMA) discussion contain quite a few interesting information about the game's future and features. I think all players should give it a read. The most interesting one for me is that I learn that it is in the developers' intention to not match new players with players that have a massive collections; it turns out that there are bugs preventing it!

Hearthstone: 11point5ft's Neptulon Shaman

Source: HearthPwn Decks section

If you ever wonder how a pre-GvG Shaman deck will look like after GvG, I think this is probably the best looking one. A lot of people were saying how Vitality Totem will provide much needed health for Shaman but Antique Healbot actually takes its place. It is showing up here as well as in Rogue and Warlock Handlock decks.

Hearthstone: Powder's GvG Paladin Deck

Source: Sub-Reddit post by Powder with information on the deck as well as how to mulligan

The only down side as Powder said is the cost of the deck. The mulligan guide is always nice to read even if you are not playing this deck as you learn something about the classes' strategies.

Hearthstone: Kolento's GvG Rogue

Source: HearthPwn Decks section

I think this was probably taken from Kolento's stream. This deck uses Preparation and Sprint for card draw to fuel the aggression, no Gadgetzan required! Check out the comments section on some replacement suggestions for the 2 Legendaries. If you are looking for a budget GvG Rogue, you can check out Free_Gold's "New Age Cancer Rogue" (Basically GvG Backspace Rogue IMO)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hearthstone: Ryzen's Rogue Miracle Oil

Ryzen's Twitch Video of him using the deck

The updated deck is right at the end of the video. There always have been talk about how spare parts will be useful with Gadgetzan Auctioneer but I didn't read up about which spare part generating minion to use for that purpose. Ryzen uses Mechanical Yeti and it looks like a solid choice for it!

Hearthstone: Another take on choosing Quests

Source: Sub-Reddit discussion on quests that don't require wins make the game more fun

Looking back, I actually find it to be quite true. Logically, the Specific Class quests are more gold efficient (2 wins for 40 gold, 5 wins for 60) but when you don't have the complete deck for that class, it actually takes a while as you might find yourself losing and it stretches out to more than the minimum 2 games or 5 games. I did fill up a Zoo deck with 0-2 cost minions for "The Meek Shall Inherit" quest and it was interesting and fun. The only exception to that discussion is the "Total Dominance" quest for 100 gold, which can be done against the A.I., definitely do those!

Edit: Come to think of it, one exception might be the "Only the Mighty" quest because it involves playing minions that cost 5 or more and that might take a while to pull off in a game.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hearthstone Kinguin For Charity 2014 Tournament: Paladins return, budget Mech Mage and budget Miracle Rogue (Update another deck-list link)

*New* Deck-lists from Hearthstone Top Deck (Only for the Top 8 players though)

Deck-lists from in one Image intensive page

Alternate Deck-lists from Hearthstone Top Decks

You can find videos of the matches by searching for 'Kinguin' on YouTube and filtering for the latest entries. I was looking forward to all the Control Priest decks but I think this tournament is all about the return of the Paladin decks. Muster for Battle and Quartermaster really turned the class's power and popularity around. Quartermaster in particular actually buffed Paladin's hero power indirectly as your opponent is now usually pressured to kill the 1-1 tokens as long as you have not played Quartermaster. Muster for Battle also synergies well with the old cards like Equality (board clear when played the turn after Muster with your tokens surviving), Sword of Justice, Knife Juggler and Cult Master. My favourite versions are Tidesoftime's and StrifeCro's; StrifeCro's version makes interesting use of Divine Shield minions and Blood Knight. I'm not a fan of versions trying to use Scarlet Purifier and deathrattle minions as I think it can be situational.

StrifeCro's Mech Mage was the next most outstanding deck in the tournament for me. You would think this is a deck for budget players but it is actually very viable in tournaments and even swept the finals 4-0! Other than The Dr. Boom and Loatheb, the deck only uses 4 rare-s and 0 epic-s. I would consider this the "Zoo" for Mage players. (Edit: To clarify, it is similar in the sense of cost. The play-style is more like Backspace Rogue) Brian Kibler has another Mech Mage deck but that included more Mage cards and Legendaries so is different from this IMO, check it out over at his blog.

Finally, the last deck that stood out for me was Team Archon's Miracle Rogue (Firebat's version). Apparently, it survived the Gagetzan nerf and in this iteration, it is more budget-friendly than ever! I think it still works but probably not as successful as before(?). The only GvG card was Tinker's Sharpsword Oil which IMO is a really powerful spell. Anyway, this new Miracle Rogue along with StrifeCro's Mech Mage are great additions to the growing list of competitive budget decks which only had Zoo and Hunter before GvG. (My favourite GvG Zoo from the tournament was Powder's while there were not really any Hunter decks that caught my eye)

Puzzle & Dragons Japan's Christmas Gacha 15 December tthrough 25 December (Updated)

Update: 50ShadesOfKray's thoughts on the Christmas REM at the sub-Reddit. The point being that the chibi silver eggs are good leaders for new players. Although most new player will probably be re-rolling till they get a good leader, having a variety of leaders is nice for the elemental advantage.

Gacha Cards are Number 1782 to 1794 from Puzzle Dragon X News article

It includes the tricolor Magician Girls and Chinese Gods at 4x rate which had me confused for a while thinking this will be a good chance to get the Chinese Gods. However, the Magician Girls and Chinese Gods are gold eggs in the Gacha so their 4x rate is for gold eggs. That really dilutes the chance of getting a christmas exclusive gold eggs even more IMO which is a real bummer. You can still expect to get mostly silver eggs which are the chibi Chinese Gods.

The chibi gold eggs are good replacements for their normal versions with better enhancements. The chibi silver eggs are good for low cost dungeons as their stats are quite poor and cap at level 70, they all retain their normal version's leader skills so chibi Kirin is especially powerful. Christmas Genie and Christmas Kirin are nice leaders, especially Christmas Kirin, but as usual with Collab gold egg leaders, it might be tough to find friend leaders.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hearthstone: drrgid's Zero-Sum Druid

Source: Reddit Discussion link

The deck does not use any legendary other than Bloodmage Thalnos which itself is more of a utility card rather than a late-game finisher. I have been playing control decks without legendaries and I find matches to be very long especially against other control decks with games constantly going into fatigue. Control decks usually use powerful late-game legendaries to end game and I feel having those will probably help to make games shorter.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

Hearthstone: Sjow's GvG Priest

Source: Hearthstone Top Decks

The title of that page names the deck as Midrange Priest but I think it should be Control? This is the deck-list that is the closest to the pre-GvG Control Priest decks while able to add in 2 Shrinkmeister with the notable cuts being 1 Holy Smite, 1 Holy Nova and the sole copy of Silence. I'm currently testing mine without Recombobulator as well because I find it situational in usage.

Hearthstone: Forsen GvG Control Priest

I was watching Forsen's stream over at Twitch and saw him using a Control Priest with GvG cards. I've been trying out Control Priest (without legendaries) and using the standard list (an example will be Kolento's list from Dreahack Winter 2014) from before GvG and trying to fit in Recombobulator  and Shrinkmeister.

I had difficulty fitting them in and ended up using just 1 of each with a list similar to Rdu's in Deck Wars S3. Forsen manages to fit 2 Shrinkmeister and a Recombobulator in a much non-standard Control Priest deck (Warning: Deck name contains expletives!). He does not run Circle of Healing, Injured Blademaster or Auchenai SoulPriest cards at all! I think his second form of board clear comes from Lightbomb. It is quite effective, especially against a board of Giants, for example, clearing the 8-8-s with ease. You would previously needed 3 cards to clear the board: Auchenai SoulPriest with 2 Circle of Healings.

You can catch the deck in action in Forsen's past broadcast video on 11 December 2014 at

Hearthstone: Sjow GvG Control Warrior

Source: Reddit thread

I was looking at his deck-list and he only uses Shieldmaiden and Dr Boom from GvG with the rest being mainly the current Control Warrior cards, unlike Firebat's version from Deck Wars S3. I think another good GvG legendary will be Troggzor because he is so difficult to get rid. Sjow also explains his card choices in a write-up over at HearthPwn.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hearthstone: Deck Wars S3 finals decks with GvG cards

Source: article with deck lists

Match Video: Machinima Twitch Past Broadcast Video

I managed to catch this matchup between Firebat and Rdu. GvG cards were used and this has to be one of the first Pro matches with those cards. The interesting decks for me were Firebat's Hunter and Control Warrior decks.

The Hunter deck was beast-themed with 0 Undertakers and Secrets which was a refreshing change. The Warrior deck was very impressive, winning 3 matches in a row as well as making the best use of GvG cards IMO. It did not use Armorsmith interestingly. It instead made use of Explosive Sheep in the 2 mana slot for another board area-of-effect (AOE) damage by proc-ing them with Whirlwind or Death Bite's Deathrattle. There was a play where Firebat used both for a 5-damage AOE board clear. Shieldmaiden also made up for Armorsmith well and even provided a 5-5 body on board. It also cannot be silenced to deny armor.

Rdu's decks were mostly current decks with very few GvG cards except for the Paladin deck. I was not very impressed by the Paladin deck (I just think it may not be the final version with certain cards being possibly change around perhaps) although for the Priest deck, I agree with using a single copy of Shrinkmeister and Recombobulator as I've been trying out Control Priest for a while. I think double copies of them do clogged up the hand. Notably, he did not include Vol'jin which I thought will be an auto-include now after GvG.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hearthstone GvG: Priest Shadowboxer fun!

Update#2: Shadowboxer OTK video by Sharthstone discussed over at the Hearthstone sub-Reddit. I think it takes too many cards to work but maybe you can still pull off quite a lot of damage with fewer of the combo pieces. 

Update#1: Amaz was playing a Mech Priest deck on his stream recently and it includes Shadowboxer! Check out his 11 December past broadcast if you missed.

I opened 24 GvG packs from saved 2000+ gold, the free arena run's pack and 3 launch events pack but did not get any legendaries. I did get a lot of Mechs but am still missing some common ones. I did manage to get 2 Shadowboxer and although a lot of attention was put on Shrinkmeister, I decide to build a Priest deck around them. It turned out to be quite fun.

Shadowboxer is similar to Knife Juggler except that it requires you to have a few minions on board and hopefully injured before you can activate it multiple times. It also survives better in the sense that it has 3 health and I think it is ok to drop on turn two although like Shrinkmeister, it is probably better to drop on a more developed board for value.

Some of the cards to combo with are mass healing spells like Circle of Healing, Holy Nova and I even tried Darkscale Healer. Do note that Circle of Healing heals your opponent's minions so it's best to use that combo on minions capped at 1-2 health, already at full health or against an empty board. I then fit in the deck with the rest of the standard Priest cards (except Auchanei Soulpriest as I don't have it) and also Shrinkmeister because it just has so much synergy with Priest cards. I didn't have Light of the Naaru or Lightwell to try out but those can also combo with Shadowboxer. I had Anique Healbot but I prefer Darkscale Healer for the area of effect healing. Some of the other cool interactions is Shadowboxer activates when your opponent tries to heal as well which was hilarious.

Overall, I don't know if it will be a competitive deck but it sure was fun. That's what games are about, right?

Hearthstone GvG launch aftermath: Arena meta and Hearthpwn's GvG theory-crafted decks

A lot of people at the Hearthstone subReddit are finding the Arena different with the addition of GvG. It seems to be more aggro-oriented now as with the increase in the number of cards, getting board clear spells seem harder. I think that could be random but I did draft a Mage with only 1 Fireball and 0 Flamestrikes from the free Arena ticket run. Anyway, here are the threads on it:

Aggressive player's helpful advice

I am immediately so much worse at Arena

HearthPwn's recent article has a nice section on GvG deck concepts. They are mostly Mech-themed which is really what the expansion is "shaping" decks into with all the Mech support and minions in it. There were quite a few decks that are quite budget-friendly IMO with minimal Legendaries used:

Warrior's The Assembly line by TheChiv

Mech Shaman by Nuba

Beasty Zoo by Sparkaz

Mechanical Zoo by Sparkaz

I think there is definitely room for more tinkering but those are some nice templates to work from.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hearthstone Goblins Vs Gnomes (GvG) is out!

Update#2: GvG is now out for the other regions.

Update#1: Shop is now open! Edit: was referring to NA region

However, at this time of writing, the shop is closed and a lot of people were not able to login earlier as reported at Hearthstone subreddit threads. There were similar issues to the Naxxramas launch so it might take a while before you can get your packs. There were quite a few people buying the wrong pack as well so make sure you choose the right one when you get into the shop to make your purchase!

In the meantime, the free arena run (if you saved it) was fine for me and you can also check out the GvG cards in collection crafting mode by searching for 'gvg'.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hearthstone: StrifeCro's Flare-less Hunter Deck from Dreamhack Winter 2014

Source: Hearthstone Top Deck

Zero Flares so it's perfect after the recent card balances!

Hearthstone Goblins vs Gnomes Release Date, Launch Event and Balance Changes (Update: Free Arena run and card balance changes are now live)

- The free arena run is now being given away till 8 December. Source: Hearthpwn
- The card balance changes are also live and the disenchanting timeframe for full dust is until 18 December. Source: forum
- Expansion cards can be gotten from Webspinners! The best way to try it is through the Naxxramas' Hunter Challenge in my opinion. Source: Hearthpwn
- *New* The Goblin vs Gnomes board is also in-game now.

The expansion will be out on 8 December 2015. Source: Blizzard news

The most interesting information was this datamined by HearthPwn about the launch event: a free arena ticket (arena will be giving out the expansion pack as rewards by then) and 3 expansion packs when you login during the launch event!

Another piece of interesting news is the upcoming balance changes coming to 3 existing cards announced on the Hearthstone Official Forums:

- Soulfire will cost 1 mana.

- Gadgetzan Auctioneer will cost 6 mana.

- Flare will cost 2 mana.

Nothing too drastic this time round compared to the previous balance change, although the Gadgetzan Auctioneer change might change Miracle Rogue decks. Not only does the Auctioneer now comes out a turn later, costing 1 mana more also reduces the number of spells you can play with it on the same turn.

I think the Soulfire change is reasonable as most people try to play Soulfire on an empty hand anyway so the cost is now 1 mana for 4 damage, although I will prefer Blizzard to just make the discard portion compulsory. Pokemon TCG does it to their Trainer cards which requires discarding too and I think it makes it much "fairer".

I think the Flare change is fine as well because of the amount of effects the card packs. 2 mana for a card draw plus removing opponent's secret still makes Flare a good card. Edit: It also removes stealth so that is 3 effects in total.

Hearthstone: Brian Kibler's Dragonmaster Druid Deck

Source: BMKGaming Article

Interesting "themed" deck by Brian Kibler but if the point was to use the legendary dragons, why not just replace the legendaries in Control Warrior deck with them?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

All revealed Hearthstone Goblins vs Gnomes cards so far (Update: Completed)

Update: Hearthmasta has compiled the full list of the expansion over at Reddit with a link to the imgur in the post

At Hearthpwn page

It does not include one more recently revealed on TouchArcade yet but it definitely is a convenient resource.

Hearthstone Dreamhack Winter 2014 Top 8 Players' Decklist


I was looking through Kolento's decks and the interesting thing is that he didn't play Zoo or Hunter but still uses very little Legendaries in his decks other than Warrior Control and that was really impressive. They are definitely more "netdeck-friendly" than most of the other non-zoo/hunter competitive decks.

The other interesting thing about this list is that there is only one Shaman deck, played by Faramir and it is also very budget-friendly with zero Legendaries. He also made an interesting choice in dropping a Lightning Storm, which I will consider a staple card in Shaman decks, for Bloodlust. Edit: I missed out the point that there is zero Paladin decks in the list! I remember there was only one Paladin deck in BlizzCon so the popularity of Paladin is really low at the moment.